2020 was far from a year of jet setting and traveling. On the contrary, people all over the world were hunkering down in their homes to ride out the coronavirus pandemic. The travel industry’s decline seeps into the commercial real estate arena through hotels and short-term rentals, like Airbnb and Vrbo.
Now that we’re on the apex of a new year, are we finally ready to travel again?
Hotel Hardships in 2020
Without guests to fill their rooms, CRE’s hospitality sector was in hot water. Data showed that COVID’s impact on hotels was nine times worse than the aftermath of 9/11. This level of disruption was unprecedented.
With commercial markets closed, hotels were some of the first CRE assets to see forced shutdowns. Without the necessary safety measures, hotels were unable to keep guests safe at the onset of the pandemic. As a result, hotels spent months with no guests. This impacted the bottom line of business so intensely that many weren’t able to survive.
Even when the bans on hotels and short-term rentals were lifted, guests weren’t flocking back to the hotel scene. Travel remained sluggish for months on end. Due to general uncertainty, hotels needed to make big changes before they were able to win back the trust of their guests.
Moving into 2021
Now that we’re transitioning into the new year, the commercial market has regained some semblance of normal. But, the situations aren’t the same as they were before the crisis. Today, CRE has gotten the knack for operating the ‘new normals.’
Prompted by an urgent need to survive, hotels pivoted during their months of hiatus – shaping safer, healthier, and risk-free environments. Hotels are using technology and creativity to create a new, post-pandemic model.
Fortunately, these efforts haven’t been ignored. Right now, there are plenty of signs pointing to hotels and travel sites getting a lot of attention. While the volume is not yet at its maximum, it seems like people are slowly becoming ready to start traveling again.
What Happens Next?
A sudden uptick in traveling again will certainly introduce new challenges to the tourism industry. However, the hospitality sector is better equipped to deal with an influx of guests than they were earlier this year.
After months of preparation and COVID-minded development, existing hotels are ready to safely welcome guests. Commercial real estate’s hospitality sector will greatly benefit from the resurgence of travel. After a hard year, the relief will be a savior to hotels and short-term rentals all across the country.
Looking ahead, expect to see new hotels popping up around the country. Throughout the pandemic, hoteliers have been working on new plans that revamp the health and safety precautions of existing hotels. New hotel developments are being designed with the current travel concerns in mind, making them perfect to deal with the looming concerns introduced by COVID.
If we’re ready to travel again, we’ll be seeing all that CRE’s hospitality sector has to offer.